Several team members of RunCloud flew to Toronto, Canada to attend the CollisionConf 2019 event. The CollisionConf event was huge, held at the Enercare Center with over 25,000 people in attendance, and over 500 startups representing their business. The purpose of CollisionConf is to bring together brilliant minds from all over the world to collaborate and network with each other. From helping each other out to forming relationships and partnerships with companies from around the globe, including over 120 countries.
CollisionConf 2019 also held speakers including Ev Williams of Medium.com, Tobias Lutke of Shopify, Sarah Bird of Moz, Seth Rogen (the actor) as a Co-founder for Houseplant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the actor) of HITRECORD, Karen Walker of Cisco System, Brian Sugar of PopSugar, Salah Zalatimo of Forbes, Lucas Joppa of Microsoft, Mikkel Svane of Zendesk, Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite, Michael Seibel of Y Combinator, Michelle Zatlyn of Cloudflare, Terrell Owens (the football player), Mike Fisher of Etsy, Des Traynor of Intercom, Max Mullen of Instacart, and many more.
As part of RunCloud, I had the privilege to attend CollisionConf 2019, on behalf of RunCloud, which wasn’t a cheap experience, but it definitely has been the experience of a lifetime. In this article, I will cover what I observed and learned over the course of the 3-day conference.
Day 1: Alpha and Beta Startups
CollisionConf 2019 is all about meeting new people and networking, but I really loved this part of the conference. Alpha and Beta startups are mainly about validation and conceptualization to become a mainstream product and company. Alpha startups are not generating very much revenue and often are just in the very early stages of becoming a web app or a useful product to users. They are relatively still unknown, with bugs in their programs, and still usually under development. They may have an entire product, and it may even be free, as they have yet to monetize.
When talking to Alpha startups, they were generally looking for feedback and a conversation as well as learning what I did in my daily job, particularly asking about what RunCloud does, as they may not know. RunCloud itself still has a long way to be a name that people recognize, such as DigitalOcean or Intercom, but RunCloud is certainly coming along nicely and will eventually be a common brand name where people go for their cloud computing needs!
Beta startups have been established for some time and are generating a certain amount of revenue, have mostly clear goals, a stable product, and usually multiple clients. They are somewhat known, though they are still trying to brand themselves and get their names out there to multiple people. Beta startups still have a way to go to become recognized and stable but are often established and set as far as monetization and usefulness goes.
Talking to Beta startups, they were not looking for too much feedback but were eager to explain what their company did and definitely seemed more confident about their products and services. Almost every Beta startup had at least one to two customers or more using their product, but many products ranged beyond just the early stages. RunCloud itself is considered a Beta startup, having established nearly 20,000 server connections and over 150,000 connected domains.
While I did not get to talk to every single Alpha and Beta startup, I did manage to take snapshots of almost every single one so I could learn of their businesses and check out their websites later. Every Alpha and Beta startup would stand in front of a sign that displayed their business, location, and website, which could easily serve as a business card. By the time I was finished speaking with some of the Alphas and Betas, which numbered to well over 500 startups from all over the world including Mexico, Canada, United States, Israel, Czech Slovakia, Prague, and more, the conference was finished and our first day ended.
While I was busy talking to the Alphas and Betas, I looked around, but could not see Arif, the founder of RunCloud. Later on Arif would send me this photo, meaning he was catching up with the events of the conference.
There was a lot to learn and multiple conferences going on all at once which included a lot of questions about business and sustainability and technology. While I did not personally attend any of these as I was busy talking to everyone and anyone who was validating their ideas and curious about RunCloud and what I personally do, Arif was able to attend and look into several of these conferences, obtaining useful information that could benefit everyone.
Day 2: RunCloud Presentation at CollisionConf
Today was our day, like Alpha and Beta, to present. We are in the Beta category meaning that RunCloud is more than just a “concept” and an “idea”. RunCloud is currently more than just an idea or concept and thus, we are slightly more established than most. On the second day of the event, RunCloud was tasked with presenting meaning we had to actually tell people what we do, what we can do for them, and how we can be of benefit to their company. For some, we are irrelevant and we technically serve no purpose for them. For others, however, we might be the best thing for them and their solution to the cloud.
I had a great time speaking to many people who were genuinely interested in what RunCloud does, including web designers, web developers, financial institutions, crypto cyber-security developers, and much more. However, RunCloud is technically for everyone and can certainly make running websites way easier than trying to get them going from scratch.
We handed out stickers, pens, shirts, and more as RunCloud flare. Many people were definitely interested in and loved the idea of RunCloud. We were technically not there to sell any type of product, but just talking about RunCloud seemed to get some excitement from many people.
As the day began to wrap up, we definitely felt content that RunCloud was a fairly easy concept to understand. Most people had a few questions but came to understand what RunCloud could do for their websites and servers. Talking about RunCloud is not always easy, especially because it was originally developed for developers, but when it comes to explaining what RunCloud does in simple terms, it basically helps people manage their servers and websites through automated scripts, services, and one-click installs or setups.
Day 3: Final Day at CollisionConf
While we got off to a late morning start, we actually went to an office in downtown Toronto for an interview with DigitalOcean and Arif Tukiman, the founder and CEO of RunCloud. While I cannot give the full details about what was being discussed, I will say that RunCloud will soon be partnering with DigitalOcean Hatch Startup program in order to boost the efforts of the RunCloud initiative known as RunCloud Education.
The final day at CollisionConf 2019 featured many more startups both in Alpha and Beta, but definitely had quite a few more hands-on virtual reality and artificial intelligence companies who were taking things to the next level. Everything was as exciting as it was the first and second days and as I walked around, I noticed some of the most prominent companies in attendance, or at least their representatives were present, including AirBNB, AWS, Siemens, Microsoft, CISCO, DELL, CapitalOne, box, zendesk, Air Canada, Verisign, DMZ, Johnson & Johnson, mailchimp, HP, Shopify, indeed, Stripe, EY, Node, Chargebee, Chargify, Twilio SendGrid, Slack, BrainStation, Contentful, Lyft, Botkeeper, and many more.
While there were no closing speeches or any special events to wrap everything up, it was quite an experience to get to network with some of the most brilliant minds and seeing the initiatives were amazing and it was really wonderful to see so many companies working together, trying to partner with each other, all for a common outcome: a brighter and better future for humanity. I hope to see you next year at CollisionConf 2020!